CD A0152: Harps, Pipes & Fiddles

Harps, Pipes & Fiddles - Various Artists

CD Cover: The Harper's Land by Ann Heymann & Alison KinnairdHarps, Pipes & Fiddles - the instruments that have carried, invented and expanded the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland for centuries. Of course it is all the better if these proud instruments are in the right hands, and on this album we proudly present leading exponents of the tradition. The list of musicians on this album (mainly from Scotland with a few very notable exceptions from Ireland, England and the U.S.) read like a 'Who's Who' of traditional music.

Ann Heymann, Alison Kinnaird, Maire Ni Chathasaigh, William Taylor

Ged Foley, Duncan MacGillivray, John D. Burgess, Dr. Angus MacDonald, Dougie Pincock & P/M Iain MacDonald, Gordon Mooney & Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band

Aly Bain, Marie Fielding, Fiddlers Five, Vincent Griffin, John McCusker & Brian McNeill.

Buy this album now    CD: £11.50 + p&p   

Track Listing & Audio Samples


1 Temple Hill Reel / Temple Hill Jig ANN HEYMANN
3 Charles O'Conor / Father Hanly MAIRE NI CHATHASAIGH
4 I Long For Thy Virginitie / The Canaries THE ROWALLAN CONSORT
5 Tuireadh Iain Ruaidh ALISON KINNAIRD & Battlefield Band
6 Miss Hamilton ANN HEYMANN
7 Blackhall Rocks GED FOLEY playing with Battlefield Band
8 Barabel Phadruig(Patricks Annabel) /
Donald Willie and His Dog
/ The Price of the Pig
9 John Anderson My Jo / Roxburgh Castle /
The Braw Lads O'Jethart / Kelso Lasses
GORDON MOONEY & Barbara Mooney
10 Nine European Dance Tunes DOUGIE PINCOCK & P/M IAIN MacDONALD
11 The Friendly Piper / The Black Isle / Abbieville SHOTTS & DYKEHEAD CALEDONIA PIPE BAND
12 The Swallow-tailed Coat / Turf Lodge JOHN D. BURGESS
13 Tending The Steer / Sandy Thompson /
The Calrossie Cattle Wife
playing with Battlefield Band
14 Chapel Keithack ALY BAIN with Alison Kinnaird
15 The Sidewalk Reels (Cold Frosty Morning /
Yankee Dollar / The Trip to Marblehead)
16 Bobby / Bag of Plums JOHN McCUSKER with Ian Carr
17 Marie Fieldings Favourites
(Murray River Jig, Saratoga, Mary Clares Reel)
with Jim Johnstone & His Band
18 The Laird O'Brodie / Danzig Willie BRIAN McNEILL playing with Battlefield Band
19 The New Year In / Youghal Quay VINCENT GRIFFIN with Geraldine Carrig
20 William Ritchie Esq / Hugh McKennas Reel FIDDLERS FIVE


CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

Harps, Pipes and Fiddles
The instruments that have carried, invented and expanded the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland for centuries. Of course it is all the better if these proud instruments are in the right hands, and on this album we proudly present leading exponents of the tradition. You will see that by checking the names to the left that the list of musicians on this album (Mainly from Scotland with a few very notable exceptions from Ireland, England and the U.S.) read like a Who's Who of traditional music.

The gut and wire strung harps are both represented. In the piping selection you will hear the Northumbrian pipes, Border pipes and naturally the Highland bagpipe; and of course a fiddle is a fiddle is a fiddle.

Through this collection we lay before you the past, present, and indeed the future of these instruments and their tradition. We know you will be encouraged to search for more music by these artists, and of the Harp, Pipes and Fiddle.


1. Ann Heymann - Temple Hill Reel/Temple Hill Jigs
The reel here is paired with a jig traditionally included by pipers and fiddlers in the long descriptive piece 'Allisdrum's March' that commemorates the 1647 death of Alasdair MacDonnell at the battle of Cnoc na nDos in Co. Cork. Ann has taken the liberty of combining three versions of the jig, whose Gaelic title is 'Cnocan an Teampaill'or 'Temple/ Church Hill',into the form of a single six part jig. The three were collected from (1) Mrs Murphy, GlenCollins, Ballydesmond, Co. Cork; (2) a manuscript of J.M. Buckley, Carriganes, Ballydesmond, Co. Cork, written in 1866 by William Fitzgerald of Conrea, Ballydesmond-a fiddler who emigrated to America; (3) a manuscript of c. O'Floinn of Castleisland, Co. Kerry, probably written around 1887; and published on "Ceol", vol.3, #3 (1969).
  Jigs and reels were not part of the Gaelic harp's repertoire, but today they have become such an integral part of traditional Irish music that they simply must be addressed by contemporary harpers. Ann has developed a "coupled hands" approach to performing dance music that accents the strong beats effectively and naturally while allowing the melody to be varied and ornamented, all while being played at acceptable tempos. Ann finds no need to create an "accompaniment" for the melody with this approach.
  She especially enjoys the incidental association these tunes have both with the "Bas Alastruim/MacAllistruim's March" track she recorded in 1983 with Alison Kinnaird on "The Harper's Land"(Temple Records COMD2012), and the name of this recording label based in Temple, Midlothian, Scotland.
From "Queen of Harps" by Ann Heymann (Temple Records COMD2057)

2. Alison Kinnaird-Leslie's March
This march is named after General Sir David Leslie, who commanded the Covenanters' forces, first against Montrose, who was fighting for Charles I, and when the Covenanters decided to support Charles, against Cromwell, who defeated Leslie at Dunbar in 1650.
From "The Harper’s Land" by Alison Kinnaird & Ann Heymann (Temple Records COMD2012)

3. Maire Ni Chathasaigh - Charles O' Conor/Father Hanly
Charles O'Conor (by Turlough O'Carolan) from John Mulholand's Collection of Ancient Irish Aires, Belfast 1810. The O' Conors of Belnagare in Co. Roscommon and the McDermott's Roe of Alderford, two ancient princely families, were Carolan's chief patrons. The O'Conors were directly descended from the last High Kings of Ireland. Charles O'Conor, for whom this piece was composed, was taught the harp by Carolan. He distinguished himself in later years as a scholar and antiquarian. (b) Father Hanly (Jig)- Also known as "The Rambler"
From "The New Strung Harp" by Maire Ni Chathasaigh (Temple Records COMD2019)

4. The Rowallan Consort -I long for thy virginitie /The Canaries
The solo clarsach version of 'I long for thy virginite' is an arrangement from the Skene manuscript of c. 1630. 'The Canaries' is a popular Spanish dance from the Canary Islands, although it must be said that these 'canaries' have a distinctly Scottish plume! The Rowallan Consort are : Robert MacKillop & William Taylor
From "Notes of Noy, Notes of Joy" by The Rowallan consort (Temple Records COMD2058)  

5. Alison Kinnaird & Battlefield Band- Tuireadh Iain Ruaidh (Lament for Red- haired Iain)
This is a well known and beautiful Gaelic song, lamenting the loss of Red-haired Iain. The tune was based on part of a pibroch. The words, written by E. Pursell, a teacher and artist from Cambeltown, say: you have taken the sun from the sky, you have torn joy from my heart. The hind forsakes the darling of her heart, and I am without possessions, without love, without protection.
So we can say that red-haired Iain was sorely missed. Alison has added a couple of variations to the air, an ancient tradition in the music of Scotland.
From "Across The Borders" by Battlefield Band (Temple Records COMD2065)

6. Ann Heymann- Miss Hamilton
This is the only known composition of Cornelius Lyons from County Kerry who was harper to the Earl of Antrim at the beginning of the 18th Century. It is found in O'Neill's and Bunting's collections. Of Miss Hamilton, Bunting says "...the probability was that she was one of the Killeleagh family". Although this melody is the only surviving composition of Lyons, there are several examples of his variations on popular tunes (Conor Macrevey, Eileen a Roon, The Coolin) that were much admired by contemporary and later harpers. On this track Ann first establishes the melody, then follows with her own variation, inspired by the tune's close affinity to the style of Carolan (1670-1738) who was a good friend of Lyons.
From "The Harper's Land" by Alison Kinnaird & Ann Heymann (Temple Records COMD2012)


7. Ged Foley with Battlefield Band-Blackhall Rocks
Ged Foley based this beautiful slow air on a Northumbrian rant tune, and renamed it after part of the coastline of S.E. Durham.
From "Home is Where The Van Is "by Battlefield Band (Temple Records COMD2006)

8. Dr. Angus MacDonald-Barabel Phadrig/Donald Willie and His Dog/The Price of a Pig
Dr Angus MacDonald heard the first tune played by Tommy Darkie, the 'box player' from Lewis. Iain MacDonald of Toronto gave him the correct name of the tune.
The late Donald Morrison's Donald Willie and His Dog is almost the musical antithesis, and is itself a clever and original composition.
The last tune of this set comes from a humorous Irish Gaelic song.
From "A' Sireadh Spors" by Dr. Angus MacDonald (Temple Records COMD2043)

9. Gordon Mooney with Barbara Mooney- John Anderson My Jo/Roxburgh Castle/The Braw Lads O'Jethart/Kelso Lasses
Generations of Andersons in Kelso were esteemed performers on the Border bagpipes. The Burgh records of Kelso confirm the existence of a John Anderson as 'Toun Pyper'. It is one of this piping dynasty immortalised in the old song 'John Anderson my Jo'. John's pipes are referred to as follows:

To see your hurdies fyke, John, And hit the rising blow ,
It's then I like your chanter pipe, John Anderson my Jo".

(Of course they may be a hidden meaning there). This tune can be found in the Skene manuscript of circa. 1620.
On the banks of the Tweed just west of Kelso, lie some broken masonry walls; the remains of Roxburgh castle. This was one of the principal strongholds and Royal Burghs of the early Middle Ages. The tune appears in collections of bagpipe music at the end of the 19th Century.
First printed in 1725, the third tune is known in the Borders as 'Braw Lads of Jethart' (Jethart=Jedburgh). Old words say:

Ye'll be kissed and I'll be kissed, We'll a' be kissed the morn;
The braw lads o' Jethart, Will kiss us a' the morn".

The hereditary pipers of Jedburgh were the Hasties, the last of whom died in the early 19th Century. The pipers House can still be seen opposite the municipal car park at No.1 Duck Row. Kelso Lasses is a typical Border 9/8 jig and comes from the Robson family manuscript of the late 19th .C Sir Walter Scott described Kelso as "the most beautiful village in Scotland", and although no longer a village it is still beautiful, as are its lasses.
From "O er The Border" by Gordon Mooney (Temple Records COMD2031)

10.Dougie Pincock & P/M Iain MacDonald-Nine European Dance Tunes
A mark of respect as a musician visiting another country is to be able to play at least one tune from the host country's repertoire. P/M Iain MacDonald and Dougie Pincock have collected many tunes in their various journeys abroad and transposed them to the Highland Pipe scale. Some are now played by Scottish Bands. The first is 'Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant'- This is a traditional Christmas carol often taught to children as an elementary lesson in French language. Four short dance tunes follow, traditionally used in Brittany for the dance Passe Pied and An Dro. The links between Scottish and Breton musicians are strengthened each year at the Lorient Festival.
From "A Controversy of Pipers" by Various Artists (Temple Records COMD 1008)

11. Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band- The Friendly Piper/The Black Isle/Abbleville
Three traditional 9/8 retreat marches, played by the many times World Champions.
From "Another Quiet Sunday" by Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band (Temple Records COMD2037)

12. John D. Burgess-The Swallow-tailed Coat/TurfLodge
A traditional two part Irish reel to which John D has added the third and fourth parts.
The late P/M Angus MacDonald composed the jig Turf Lodge when he was in the Army. It is named after a famous area in Belfast.
From "The Piping Centre Recital Series-Vol II" by John D. Burgess & Donald MacPherson (Temple Records COMD2067)

13. Duncan MacGillivray with Battlefield Band Tending the Steer/Sandy Thompson/The Calrossie Cattle Wife
More pipe tunes starting with a 9/8 jig to which Duncan MacGillvray has added the 3rd and 4th parts. Duncan also wrote the last jig in honour of an Antipodean lady who has played a very important part in his life - his mother.
From "There's A Buzz" by Battlefield Band (Temple Records COMD2007)


14. Aly Bain with Alison Kinnaird -Chapel Keithack
Aly Bain plays this 18th century fiddle tune with Alison Kinnaird. It was composed by William Marshall, from Fochabers in Morayshire, who was butler to the Duke of Gordon.
From "The Harp Key" by Alison Kinnaird (Temple Records COMD1001)

15. Brian McNeill-The Sidewalk Reels (Cold Frosty Morning/Yankee Dollar/The Trip to Marblehead)
Cold Frosty Morning is a lazy Appalachian tune with an apt title for the day's start on a European pavent. As are the other two Sidewalk Reels, Yankee Dollar and The Trip to Marblehead. The first refers to the profits to be made busking outside the gates of Harvard University, the second to the incredible speed of their dissipation. Brian remembers having to hitch back.
From "The Busker" by Brian McNeill (Temple Records COMD2042)

16. John McCusker with Ian arr-Bobby/Bag of Plums
John McCusker had a riff in his head for a while, and played it to Ian Carr, who came up with a great guitar part for it. When pressured for a title by Robin Morton, John finally said "It's called Bobby!" and it's been Bobby every since. Ian Carr and John wrote Bag of Plums together. This is a little-known Lanarkshire expression for a wild goose chase.
From "John McCusker (Temple Records COMD2059)

17. Marie Fielding with Jim Johnstone & His Band - Marie Fielding's Favourites (Murray River/Saratoga/Mary Clare's Reel)
This is a selection of tunes Marie put together as a tribute to her many Canadian friends in the music scene.
From "Stramash" by Jim Johnstone & His Band (Temple records CTP030)

18. Brian McNeill with Battlefield Band-The Laird O' Brodie/Danzig Willie/The merchant's Jig
The Brodies of Castle Brodie, near Forres, have connections with that area dating back to the 11th century though the castle dates from the mid-16th century. Simon Fraser notes in his collection (1815) that James IV claims to have written the tune, but he also heard it as a Gaelic song tune. "Danzig Willie", or William Forbes, a merchant, owned Craigievar Castle, a fairytale building of classic  and much copied style, near Aberdeen. he traded with the Baltic ports, including Danzig (now Gdansk), thus the title of this tune, written in his memory, by Brian McNeill. Forbes was also taken as "Willie the Merchant" and Dougie named the jig for him- any man who had enough character to deserve two nicknames deserves two tunes.
From "Music in Trust-Vol II" by Battlefield Band & Alison Kinnaird (Temple Records COMD2004)

19. Vincent Griffin with Geraldine Carrig -The New Year's In / Youghal Quay
This reel in the key of F, not a key that is common in Irish music. Vincent learned it either from his father or 'Rue' many years ago and has forgotten the name. As it was recorded just as 1976 became 1977 we fitted the above title to it. The second reel Vincent learned from Seamus Connolly. He thinks that perhaps Paddy O’Brien the accordion player wrote it. It seems to be a version of a tune called The Castlebar Races.
From "Traditional Fiddle Music from County Clare" by Vincent Griffin

20. Fiddlers Five - William Ritchie Esq./Hugh McKenna's Reel
Two lovely reels from the Border country around the north-east of England introduced to the session by Chuck Fleming. Everybody immediately took to them and we predict that you will hear them more often now. Fiddlers five are: Marie Fielding, Chuck Fleming, John Martin, Brian McNeill &John McCusker.
From "Fiddlers Five" by Fiddlers Five (Temple Records COMD2004)


Recorded & Produced by Robin Morton at Temple Record Studio, Scotland
Graphic Design John Slavin @ The Living Tradition


Album Information

Instruments: Various - Harp, Pipes & Fiddles
Genre: Scottish Traditional
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0152
Label: Temple Records
Year: 2000
Origin: Austria